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RAF C-17 Confirmed for Abingdon Air & Country Show
As one of those helping with promoting the event, I hope the following will be interesting to enthusiasts on this forum...
RAF C-17 Globemaster Confirmed For Abingdon
In a major coup, the Abingdon Air & Country Show in Oxfordshire on Sunday May 3rd has, subject to operational requirements, secured an appearance from the RAF’s largest aircraft – the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.
No 99 Squadron at nearby RAF Brize Norton will be flying in one of its five C-17s to the show at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon Airfield, early on the morning of May 3rd.
It will take pride of place in the r static aircraft park, before departing back to Brize Norton after the show.
“This is a huge attraction – quite literally!” enthused show organiser Neil Porter. “It will be the largest aircraft to ever land at Abingdon. It’s quite appropriate the C-17 should be visiting the show, because Abingdon was a Transport Command station during its RAF days.”
He added: “Our show celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and it’s a fitting salute to this wholly volunteer-run, charity event that the RAF is providing this great aircraft for us.”
The RAF C-17 fleet is very busy supporting ongoing overseas operations with its vital strategic heavy-lift role, and so appearances by these aircraft at airshows are understandably rare events – making its appearance at Abingdon all the more special.
The C-17 will be just part of a great family day out, which raises funds for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance.
Air displays comprise the RAF Hawk, Tutor and Chinook, Jet Provost, Dukes of Cassutt, the Army’s Tigers Parachute Team, C-47 Dakota Drag ‘em-oot (a genuine D-Day veteran), P-40 Kittyhawk, P-51D Mustang, DH Vampire, Pembroke, Yak-52 and T-28 Fennec. All these aircraft can also be viewed on the ground.
Weather conditions depending, it is hoped that around 70 light, classic and vintage aircraft will fly in on the day. There will also be a modern day RAF Merlin helicopter and an overseas guest with the return of a US Army UH60 Blackhawk helicopter.
There will be an extensive range of ground attractions including family amusements, a craft marquee and farmers’ market stalls to a Williams Formula 1 show car, tank rides, a Heart Radio interactive studio and Doctor Who Tardis and Daleks. There will also be a nostalgic theme with a 1940s kitchen; WW2 memorabilia; live period music performed by Fiona Harrison and author Richard Holdsworth signing copies of his book “Six Spoons of Sugar”, his moving account of being an evacuee during the war.
Abingdon Information Office, Abingdon Town Council offices; Old Abbey House (opposite Guildhall); The Warehouse, Coxeters’ Yard, Abingdon; Clothes 4 Work, 138 The Broadway, Didcot; Wallingford Information Office; Nationwide Building Society branches in Abingdon, Bicester, Didcot, Oxford, Wallingford and Wantage.
The sight of a C-17 operating into Abingdon promises to be one to behold!
So if you're not doing anything on May 3rd, why not come down and join us? After all, you'll be raising funds for a very good cause - the local air ambulance
As someone who lives locally to Abingdon, I'd just like to say that the Atlantean family has visited the Air and County show a number of times, and all of us (that's me + Mrs. Atlantean and children now 14 and 11) have always had a really good day out.
And knowing what some people can be like, I'd better just add that I've no connection with the show other than as a happy attendee.
As someone who is connected with this event(..& a fellow Didcotian) thanks for your kind words Atlantean...we try to make it a good all-round event with something for everybody(not just the aviation enthusiast)
there have thankfully been very few Brick-bats relating to this years show,but in answer to those the Main Event Organiser,Mr Neil Porter,has asked me to cut 'n' paste his reply from the Feed-Back page to our web-site;-
Firstly, many thanks for all your comments - it is all useful information. To address some of the points raised:
Toilets - yes, we underestimated the number of toilets needed, as we didn't expect quite as many people to turn up! Last year we got it right, this year we didn't. Unfortunately toilets are one of our largest costs - they are around £50 per unit per day to hire - multiply that by the 25 units onsite... we simply couldn't afford any more, as a non-commercial and volunteer-run show that gifts most of the profit to the Air Ambulance. The money we retain each year has to be spread across the board to make the show run. Having said that, it seems we may be in a position to hopefully remedy the toilet situation for 2010, and we will look into hiring the troughs mentioned too. Traffic - a road accident in the vicinity of Abingdon didn't help matters. The traffic queues outside the airfield could be helped a bit if everybody made sure they didn't leave large gaps - it was apparent from aerial observation that the physical length of the queue could have been cut drastically if everyone had closed the gaps (thus freeing up the main roundabout under the A34 and the A34 slip road exits). Traffic queues are unfortunately one of the organisers' worst nightmares as to be honest we cannot do anything about it - we will look at the situation to see if there is anything that can be done to help but is highly unlikely. Delays on the airfield - access to the airfield is restricted to the southern gate off Barrow Road, which gives us the maximum length of hard surface within the airfield to try and get as many cars as possible off the public roads. This hard surface - the perimeter track - is only wide enough for 3 lanes plus a further lane for emergency access and any departing traffic. Use of the grass either side is not possible due to the poor condition of some of the land - and had it been wet, could have been very muddy/unuseable/dangerous. We can see people's views on the 'lack of paygate staff'. Our problem here is getting willing and competent volunteers to run this point - we only had 13 people available (not all available simultaneously due to breaks etc.). You can help to some extent by buying advance tickets, enabling you to utilise the advance ticket lane to get in quicker once on the airfield. Advertising & Signage - a few people mentioned the lack of banner advertising for the show in the run up to the weekend; well the answer is unfortunately that the local council have banned banner advertising etc and any unauthorised banners - or 'flyposting' - could lead to the organisers being fined! We were, however, in the local newspapers and radio and on various websites including - of course - this one!
We hope you all enjoyed your day despite any inconveniences you suffered and will return to support us and your local Air Ambulance next year!
Neil Porter, event organiser
On behalf of Neil and the rest of the committee,thank you for reading this and I hope you are re-assured that we do everything possible to make your visit to this annual all-volunteer run CHARITY event as pleasant as we can